Welcome to Wisdom of the Masses, wherein we tap the global intelligence of our readers on matters you won’t find covered in Lonely Planet or Tripadvisor.

Last week we asked a very simple question for the travelers who enjoy life’s simple pleasures: Where are some great spots for a woman traveling solo to sit with a book and some booze? Somewhere quiet, where she might go undisturbed. A comfy place for the woman who wants some alone time, but not alone time in the hotel. The answers were as broad as the question itself. A lot of suggestions were for tropical islands, but they’re not included here because of course a far-flung patch of sand in the middle of turquoise waters is good for peace and quiet. Those comments have been compiled, but we’ll get to those another time. (Promise.)

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Here we go. Take notes; there will be a quiz later after you’ve had your third glass of sancerre.


AUSTRALIA

“In Sydney, the Royal Botanic Gardens is a fantastic place to pull up a blanket, a bottle of wine and a book. I also like Watson’s Bay. There’s a lovely little harbor beach and a takeaway fish and chip shop, so you can have and excellent cheap meal with your wine and book. On a rainy day, I am a fan of the Lord Nelson pub, in the rocks. Go only in off hours during the week, to avoid tourists. There’s a fireplace in winter.” —bytherecordmachine


BELGIUM

Moeder Lambic in Brussels was the right level of not completely dead but chill enough to read. Also breweries with a tasting room are usually pretty great for afternoon drinking + reading + people watching.” —sarahchristine


CANADA

Toronto Island (in Toronto, of course) offers a really nice refuge from the chaos of city life. No cars allowed means the noise levels drop precipitously, even with the small YTZ airport on the west end, and you can walk or bike without fear of being in someone’s way. I went Labour Day weekend last year and still felt the crowds were pretty tame. There are a couple of nice parks, cafes, and beaches where you can chill, have a coffee, and read a book in relative peace.” —Petoskey

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Vancouver Island. In the woods, by the sea, whatever. Hours drag on in a beautifully simplistic way, eagles soar above, whales or dolphins might make an appearance on the horizon and all you have to do is drink your coffee or your wine and read your book. There is no better place.” —Unwholesome

“We are pretty hassle free here in Montreal. I have sat at numerous bars and people pretty much leave you alone. We’re not being unfriendly, we just don’t think bothering strangers is good manners. My favorites are Dieu du Ciel and Benelux.” —MiaMontreal


CHICAGO

Big Star in the afternoon — sit at the bar, have Palomas or margs and tacos, read for hours. There’s usually a couple other people doing this too. At night it’s way too crazy.” —sarahchristine


CHILE

Parque Bicentenario in Santiago! After an amazing meal at the Mestizo I just got under a tree and took a nap while my SO explored the park an took pictures. Maybe with a bit less wine (or in that case, pisco sour) I could have done some reading.” —Savvy Shoes

“I was going to suggest the Cafe Literario in Parque Bustamante or Balmaceda as my Santiago suggestion. I also have good memories of sitting and reading in a Las Condes Starbucks, only because the music was the exact same folksy stuff they play back home in North America and it gave me the strangest sense of feeling like I was at home…” —BadLatitude


CZECH REPUBLIC

“I would recommend Vinograf in Prague for wine list and atmosphere for reading. Anonymous is actually surprisingly good for reading too, at least that’s what I did while I was there + talk to the bartender. Though you’re likely to get hit on.” —sarahchristine

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“I went to Prague and spent many an hour reading with wine/beer in outdoor cafes and in various parks. But then again I never get hit on anywhere, so YMMV.” —NoraNext

“I found a little French bistro in Prague just east of the Jan Hus Memorial, Chez Marcel. It was cozy and not crowded. Everyone spoke French and after days of eating duck, dumplings and cabbage, I really just wanted a glass of wine and something different. Sat at the bar, read my book, drank my wine and left an hour or two later sated and recharged.” —RockMyPalate


DUBAI

“The Irish pub McGettigan’s is a great place to go to have beers, maybe wine — they have an okay list and actually be left alone. There’s always dudes — solo or in groups — in there watching proper football and/or rugby but they keep to themselves on weeknights. Beware of the smoke though as people can still smoke inside here. Barastion an early afternoon can also be good for reading and beers, and Zero Gravity — you pay between 100dhs and 200dhs for beach access + get voucher for drinks and food, read on the beach with lush loungers and have cabana boys bring tasty boozy watermelon drinks.” —sarahchristine


ENGLAND

“If any of you venture to the North of England, near the Scottish border, definitely visit Barter Books in Alnwick. You can go there after you’ve visited the castle where they filmed the first two Harry Potter films, strolled through the stunning town, maybe had a walk along the spectacular coast. Then, when in the bookshop (once a train station), find a cosy armchair by a real fire, probably with a happy dog sleeping nearby, and read while a toy train makes its way above the book shelves. It is also where the famous ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster was found, when a member of staff was looking in the attic.” —floreat

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“I can generally recommend any countryside spot, but seeing as driving is involved, maybe a flask of tea not a bottle of wine!

  • The Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds are lovely, but if you want to avoid children, you’ll have to look for a deserted spot.
  • Southwold / Walberswick / Aldeburgh beaches.
  • The Old Firehouse in Exeter is what inspired The Leaky Cauldron but it gets very busy in the evenings, especially during uni term time.
  • Anywhere in Falmouth.”

Clairbear89

“If you’re looking for a London getaway, you can take the tube to either Epping Forest or Richmond, they both require you to walk a bit from the station, but it’s worth it! Epping is probably my favorite place accessible by public transit (only an hour or so from central London). It’s huge and old and there’s never anyone there. I can’t go alone, because I have the worst sense of direction and I’d never make it out, but my husband and I go all the time. We stop at M&S and get a baguette and some cheese and drinks and just wander. The last time we were there, we came upon a sunny little clearing filled with fuzzy dandelions and as we were standing there, the wind blew and all the dandelion fuzz floated into the air, swirling around in the sunlight. It was fucking magical. Also, there’s a pub pretty smack dab in the middle of it where you can stop for a pint and rest your legs/wee indoors.

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Richmond is much more open and touristy, but there are herds of deer roaming around, which is always pretty cool. Last time we were there, we sat on a fallen tree and had lunch while a herd of fallow deer milled around us. I haven’t been in yet, but Dalston Curve Garden is supposed to be really cool and relaxed, they have a cafe or you can bring in your own food and just sit. Cafe OTO is right next door and is p chill unless there’s a show going on. The food is ridiculously expensive though, and it’s a magnet for Dalston hipsters. Crate Brewery is right on the canal, and has outdoor seating. Their beers are quite good, and it’s a bit out of the way, so it’s not generally super busy.” —agenttremble

“London: Near Hyde Park Corner, The Grenadier is the UKs most haunted pub and a lovely cosy spot to spend a few hours, in a gorgeous mews street, like being in the countryside in the city. […] And there’s a cafe called The Dolls House [in Harrow] that does the best fresh baguettes ever, along with some lovely teas and cakes and whatnot, I’m not sure about the wine but there are definitely a couple of wine bars too. Kilburn has a few good bars on the high street, the North London Tavern and the Betsy Smith being my favourite for alone time-the NLT is quite posh and the BS has a great, quirky, vintage-Englishy vibe with some yummy teapot cocktails being worth a try. My favourite place for breakfast is the Electric Diner in Portobello Road (get the avocado and egg on toast with a side of bacon before 12) and does some lovely cocktails, it has about three outside tables for two where you can sit and watch the market hum (on Saturdays), although you can’t smoke at them. Also in Portobello is the Duke of Wellington which is really nice. There’s a tucked away bar called The George near London Bridge right under the Shard and a cool place called The Thameside Inn next to a famous boat (I want to say the Golden Hinde) and overlooking the Thames. Waterloo is far and away my favourite place for alone time, with loads of atmosphere. My favourite is actually a pizza place (Gourmet Pizza) which is in a tiny square called Gabriel’s Wharf which is just gorgeous and overlooks the river. There’s a bar in the square too. Also nearby in the Fire Station which does some truly excellent cocktails, but if you’re on budget there’s a great Cuban bar around the corner, opposite the Old Vic Theatre.” —londonderriere

“Hop on the overground to Hampstead Heath. Grab a few (or more) tins or bottles of your beverage of choice and a snack and throw them into your bag. Alternately stop at Euphorium and grab some v decent coffee and a v delicious baked good. Walk past the bathing ponds where Gary Oldman went swimming in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and through some woods. Find a nice, secluded spot and throw down a blanket. When you’re bored of nature, walk past Kenwood House (I think it was in a Kiera Knightley movie? I don’t know...it’s been under a tarp forever) and up Spaniards Rd to The Spaniards and enjoy their amazing beer garden. Keats liked to hang out there, who knows maybe you will become a famous poet too!” —agenttremble

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“I lived in England for a year (doing grad school, so I was in need of quiet, books, and wine many a time). My favorite spots in the places I spent time:

  • Cambridge: Bridge Street Wine Merchants: A wine shop with wine by the glass or bottle, some beers, light snack menu. You can sit in the window and watch the River Cam for ages, and it’s usually very quiet except on weekend nights. You can also buy a bottle and buy paper cups or borrow glasses if you’re feeling fancy and take your booze and books to sit down by the river, or even on a punting tour. The Punter: Out of the way little place. If you sit in their barn annex, it’s very quiet, but the main bar also has some quiet, cozy nooks. They have a good selection of wine and beer, and some delicious food as well. I spend many hours reading and writing alone here, and no one ever bothered me. Cambridge Chop House: Usually only a restaurant, and rather pricy, but during the day and when it’s warm they’re happy to let you stick to just drinks and coffees. They have a local sparkling wine (Three Squirrels) that’s one of my favorites.
  • Oxford: The Turl Street Kitchen has good wine, good coffee, and good food. During the school term, you’ll see lots of students drinking wine or coffee and sitting in the comfortable chairs in what’s basically a study/living room, or eating and drinking at the tables in the bar/restaurant area. The building has the added atmosphere of looking like it’s been around since 1300, which it may well have been. It’s right in the center of town, near Blackwell’s, so there’re plenty of books to be had nearby if you haven’t brought your own. This is my favorite place in Oxford, and I once tagged along on a four hour bus ride with a friend just to hang out here, visit Blackwell’s, and go for a walk in the beautiful University Parks down the road.
  • Canterbury: Water Lane Coffeehouse: You can’t get wine here, but they have the most amazing lattes and a beautiful view of some lovely gardens on the river. I did a lot of writing here. Shakespeare Wine and Coffee House: Right across from the Cathedral Gate, this wine bar is one of my favorite places. They have a good wine list, it’s usually quiet, there’s both tables to spread out your reading at and cozy nooks where you can immerse yourself in a good novel. After I discovered it, I went here every night I was in Canterbury to relax after wandering around all day.
  • Central London: Bedford & Strand: A bit pricey, as it’s central London and near the theatre district, but out of the way enough that I’ve rarely seen it crowded. Pretty good wine list (their sparkling rose is a special treat) and good food, including lighter fare. It gives off the atmosphere of a 1920s bar and tends to be fairly quiet. The Wren (114 Queen Victoria Street): This is also not a wine bar, but it’s an amazing coffee place that makes fantastic lattes, iced and hot, and delicious food. It’s in a beautiful old church in central London, near St. Paul’s, and is a lovely quiet place to have a rest in the middle of the bustle of London. It’s only open till 5, and not open on weekends, but it’s worth searching out. Fernandez & Wells: This is a small chain in London. I’ve been to the ones at Exhibition Road in Kensington and Denmark Street in Soho. They have coffee and food (amazing baked goods!) as well as wine, and both of the locations I’ve been to were great for reading in. The one in Kensington is smaller and has fewer places to sit, but the atmosphere there can be a bit quieter than in Denmark Street.
  • Greenwich/Deptford: Though it doesn’t have a cafe, there’s a cozy Waterstone’s right off the Cutty Sark DLR stop where you can pick up a book, and I actually really love the feel of the Starbucks right across the way from it. The Gipsy Moth: Pretty good wine, has a covered garden and a nice, Victorian-feeling indoor bar/food area. The Duke: Little pub with decent wine and good food. Lots of cozy places to sit. There’s also a terrace outside. They keep a stock of books on hand, if you’ve not brought your own. It gets busy at night and on weekends and they have music events sometimes, but earlier in the evening and when there’s nothing on it’s peaceful.

faustusfightsback

The Botanist on Kew Green in/outside of west London near Kew Gardens. Quiet, scenic, and the perfect place to enjoy a glass of red wine and a good book with a roaring fire. Granted, I usually preferred one of the beers on tap, but same result.” —Classybridge

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“In central London, 5th floor bar at the Waterstones on Piccadilly is a chill place to enjoy a book and a glass of wine. Good views and no one will bother you, but don’t expect fast service. But they won’t care if you nurse a glass of wine for 2 hours either.” —EatBigSea


ETHIOPIA

“In Lalibela, Ethiopia there’s a gorgeous restaurant called Ben Abeba. It’s a social enterprise co-owned by a cool Ethiopian guy and a delightful Scottish woman that trains disadvantaged youth in culinary and service skills. The food is good, you can order a glass of Rift Valley wine, and the view is amazing.” —sharkopalypse


FINLAND

Kaisla in Helsinki is a great beer house with comfy chairs, so as long as you don’t show up on a crazy weekend night with live music, it’s a good place to relax and no one will bother you.” —raisedbycats


FRANCE

“Le Marais district in Paris. It was one of the few places in that city where as a single woman travelling alone, I didn’t get relentlessly harassed by over-eager Frenchmen. Being a largely gay neighbourhood, I kind of flew under the radar and to top it all off it is an absolutely gorgeous locale with tonnes of places to eat and drink and read amongst the cobbled winding streets.” —stripeycat

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“Marais…I spent almost all of my free time near the rue des Rosiers. Several lovely wine bars and a bakery that served the best hot chocolate and Eastern European Jewish pastries.” —foreverthirtytwo

“I agree! The Marais district gets my vote as well. I’ve spent hours sitting in the cafes at the Place des Vosges. It’s beautiful, always good people-watching in the park, but very low-key.” —MidwestWanderer

“In Paris, one of my favorite things to do after a busy morning of sightseeing is buy a bottle of wine, go sit in Place des Vosges (there are many other wonderful parks where you could do the same, but for some reason I am partial to this one), and read for a few hours.” —Hell on Heels

[Ed: Seriously, Le Marais. Almost anywhere there.]

Canal St. Martin or Marais neighborhoods for laid back places.” —sarahchristine

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“Canal St. Martin is the best! Go to Point Ephémère, get une pinte and go sit with it by the canal.” —sharkopalypse

“I’ve treated my kindle and myself to a multiple-course meal in the Latin Quarter in Paris. Service was good and everyone seemed perfectly happy to leave me alone.” —gamechanger

“About two hours south of Paris the area is called the Loire Valley and its great for the scenery along the river and the food. People are nice and its a quaint spot to just relax in a foreign country without the hustle and bustle of Paris.” —BetterThanBettyCrocker

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“Couleuvre, France. Tiny population, beautiful old church and some good looking cows. I spent a lovely long evening in July with Hubs and one of my best friends drinking wine in the late summer dusk. Highly recommend!” —dutchesscourtney


GERMANY

The English Garden or Hofgarten in Munich are beautiful places to sit around reading a book, go swimming in the river or people watch. Generally if you chose to sit in a cafe (even the chains like Rischart have excellent pastries) people are polite enough to leave you alone. So sit with your book in a sidewalk cafe and enjoy the peace!” —fridaynotinlove

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BERLIN! It has all the charm, and the people are nice, but nobody actively tries to contact you or be your friend. I lived there for 6 months and while all my interactions with people were pleasant, nobody ever pushed themselves on me and I never made any friends…wait.” —folaigh

“I was in Berlin for 2 months and I found solace in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood. It’s a really scenic neighborhood mostly inhabited by young parents and such. There’s a really good English secondhand bookstore called St. George’s and the staff is super friendly and great with book recommendations. I’m not big on wine, but I recommend this cute little coffee shop called Impala Coffee not too far from the bookstore. Never crowded, on a main street but quiet, and has great food and lattes.” —Ravenclaw Keeper

“Believe it or not, I once spent what could have been stullifyingly long layover in the grey hell called Frankfurt airport parked in a club chair at the (I don’t know what) bar and it was surprisingly delightful.” —Quesochica


ICELAND

“I love Reykjavik, Iceland for this very reason. When I wasn’t with my traveling companion (who stayed at another hotel), I would choose a different spot and have a glass of wine or tea with my Nook or my notebook and my thoughts. Happy hour runs longer since people don’t come out until very late there so there are a lot of places where you can just sit and be without any hassle. I hit up a lot of new spots last time I was there that I can’t remember the name of (although I always stop by Icelandic Fish and Chips for a leisurely early dinner where I tend to linger). But pretty much everywhere I randomly popped into was nice.” —llaalleell


ITALY

Rome: I stay in the Trastevere neighborhood when I go and any place with outdoor tables during the afternoon and early evening is perfect for reading and drinking. For a more mixologist / craft cocktail bar, Freni e Frizioni is awesome.” —sarahchristine

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“I once spent a few days in Tuscany at a castello. They had this great patio over looking the vineyards and the sun was so different from home. I just really enjoyed sitting out on that patio with my glass of wine and the book. It has been almost ten years since I visited and I still dream of going back.” —purpleprose78

Florence! If you make a right at the Ponte Vecchio, and go two more bridges down, you can walk along the banks of the Arno until you find a grassy spot. Bliss!” —boticellilove


KENYA

In Kisumu, Kenya go hang out by Lake Victoria at Kiboko Bay resort. There’s a nice pool, good food, and sometimes you can see hippos in the water.” —sharkopalypse


NETHERLANDS

“Amsterdam — any little sidewalk cafe can be awesome for a beer or a glass of wine.” —sarahchristine

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“Amsterdam: The Vondelpark is a great hangout, I’ve lived in Nijmegen, and the the Goffertpark or the Valkhof are great places. Any park really. I have never been bothered when I was out alone.” —Anneke Oosterink


NEW YORK

Finger Lakes! There are a lot of wineries and hard cideries there. Also: pretty.” —OtherKate8

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“If you’re in NYC and the weather’s decent, picnic in a park. Any of the larger parks (except the High Line, it’s a madhouse) will do and many have cafe tables and chairs. You’re in the city so it’s not solitary, but you have a reasonable chance of being left alone. Alcohol is illegal and I would definitely disguise it, but grab your book and a blanket, get food, find grass, and park yourself.” —northbx

Calvary Cemetery in Queens. Yes, I’m weird, but a book, blanket, and wine, combined with amazing views of the city, make it the perfect spot to soak up the sun for a while. (I’m not entirely sure the wine is legal - so I bring it in a travel mug or just keep the bottle under wraps.” —GreenEyedMonster

“Are you guys talking New York City? If you are, and you are willing to enjoy just the House white or red (or beer!), I suggest the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. What better place to enjoy a book than a gorgeous used bookstore, be able to drink wine, and have all your dollars go to help the homeless?” —JuneCarter

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“Also, if you are closer to NYC, the Hudson Valley is also a good place to drink and chill. You can go east of the river for the posher stuff and west to the Shawangunk; the Mohonk is beautiful, and you can use their hiking trails for free.” — OtherKate8


NEW ORLEANS

“Seems counterintuitive, but New Orleans! My routine is to first go to my favorite place on earth, a bookshop so crammed with books that the bookshelves are made of books. It is called Acadian Books and Prints. From there, treasures in hand, I go pick up a cigar (available on any block in the Quarter, pretty much), a box of pralines (ditto), then a drink. Since open containers are kosher, I can take it to-go or sit on the patio/sidewalk, depending on where the moment takes me. I have found that if I am not on Bourbon Street proper, and if I avoid the places that are OBVS tourist traps, I am left in perfect peace to drink, smoke, and read. It is my very favorite.” —HaHaYouFool


NEW ZEALAND

“The Library Bar in Wellington, New Zealand. Bookshelf-lined walls, great drink list and two-for-one desserts on Tuesday evenings for those times when you want to have ALL OF TEH DESSERTS (or don’t mind having company).” —BadLatitude

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“Check out the rose gardens behind the Southland Museum in Invercargill. There’s a gazebo in the middle that is a fabulous place to read. Different community groups have separate plots, each plants roses, but different varieties so as the breeze shifts around you get changing rose fragrance.” —bobkoure

“I found the Christchurch Botanical Gardens to be a great place to read and I was never bothered once in my many visits. It’s just a short walk from city centre. Although I should say I haven’t been since the horrible earthquake many years ago.” —notclever13


PHILADELPHIA

“I headed over to The Dandelion in Philly last month for a book ‘n’ booze and was thrilled to discover that they actually have tables for one! Like, with only one seat! To accommodate us solo ladies! They also have afternoon tea with delicious lemon curd, shortbread, and tea-based cocktails.” —Athena51813


PORTUGAL

“I had a great time reading White Teeth in this beautiful park overlooking Lisbon. I think they had a little snack stand that sold alcohol there, or you could always bring your own. It’s called Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara, if Google Maps is telling the truth.” —boobsmcgee23


RWANDA

“In Kigali, Rwanda go to Shokola. I’m actually not even sure they serve alcohol, but there’s a great patio and they have good coffee and an excellent salad bar. It’s a lovely place to go read or do work. If have a chance to get to Lake Kivu, go to the Cormoran Lodge. Beautiful view and good seafood!” —sharkopalypse


SCOTLAND

The Ship Inn in Irvine, on the west coast of Scotland is great. I go there whenever I go home. If it’s a nice day, you can walk down the shore, get an ice cream and sip on a cider in the sun with a book. Bliss.” —Mrs_Stabler

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“One of my fav summertime activities on the rare nice day here in Edinburgh is to pop into Waterstone’s bookshop on Princes Street, buy a new book and then cross the street and sit in Princes Street Gardens with a drink, my book, and an incredible view sitting just below Edinburgh Castle atop it’s rocky outcrop. It truly is amazing, and so much cheaper than any pub/cafe.” —MCquasar

“In Edinburgh, The Barony on Broughton Street is an awesomely chill bar. Because it is such a huge tourist attraction, yet a relatively small city, lots of the city centre pubs can get rammed and be full of tourists or people on stag/hen parties. This is a chilled little bar, where dogs are welcome. It has a few benches/tables outside for when the weather is nice and you want to watch the world go by, and it has a fire inside for the cold rainy days. It tends to just be locals so you won’t get bothered by flirting PUAs and it has a good selection of wines and guest ales. On the south side of the city, there is also the cafe/pub attached to the Cameo Cinema on Lothian Road. Super relaxed, tends to be full of people getting a drink before/after watching a movie so no creepers on the prowl.” —MCquasar


SEATTLE

“The Silent Reading Party at the Sorrento Hotel in Seattle, First Wednesdays.” —Kelly Forrest


SOUTH AFRICA

Cape Town (outside of) - Kalk Bay Books, an independent bookstore with a restaurant and Annex on the hill above the store. You can order a glass of local estate wine at your little wooden table and chair, read a book/daydream, and look out over the bay. The staff aren’t pushy and don’t care if you’re just there to hang out and do nothing. It’s best as a ‘late afternoon quiet time’ spot and not necessarily a night spot, although if you’re there at night you can watch the moon rise over the mountains.” —cassidybayou


SPAIN

“You can also create your own atmospheric bubble while en-route. Last year, I sprang for the 1st class upgrade on the TGV from Barcelona to Madrid. The trip included a meal, wine, lovely countryside out my window...and of course a good book.” —Quesochica

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“The town of Ibiza itself is gorgeous with a cool old fort at the top of the hill in the old town. There are some nice plazas with cute little bars — perfect for reading a book with a glass of wine.” —Taller Ghost Walt

Zarautz or Donostia, but preferably in October. Before that is too crowded/rainy. For solitude there is the beach off-season, agri-tourism places in apple orchards, forest parks, mountains…” —OtherKate8


SWEDEN

“I don’t remember if they serve alcohol, but Cafe Dox AB in Stockholm is one of the coziest places I’ve found. It’s like a cave with giant couches and cushy chairs. Again, some rando isn’t going to come bother you.” —raisedbycats


SWITZERLAND

“You’d have to bring your own wine, but I loved going to the botanical gardens in Bern, Switzerland when I spent the summer there. They’re free and nothing spectacular, but full of flowers on a slope leading down to the Aare. There was this one, perfect spot under an apple tree near the river. I could actually smell the apples, and alternated between reading in the shade and reading with my toes dipped in the river.” —ediblemathematician


TANZANIA

“if you end up in Dar es Salaam head to the Slipway and have ceviche and a glass of wine at The Waterfront. Then hop on a ferry to Zanzibar!” —sharkopalypse


TURKEY

“Istanbul - Any restaurant with a rooftop terrace has potential to be amazing. Also AYI on the asian side in Kadikoy has a huge beer list + sidewalk seating or dark pub seating, whatever you’re in the mood for. Beware though as you will be hit on.” —sarahchristine

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“I don’t know about wine, but the tea garden in Istanbul’s Gulhane Park is kind of great. Overlooking the Bosphorus, people randomly playing music. It’s just a wonderful environment to sit, drink some strong tea, and take a breath.” —KeepCalmCallTheDoctor

“Lots of surprisingly great places in Istanbul, considering on the street you tend to get hollered at a lot if you’re a woman travelling alone. That series of nargile cafes by the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, right by Tophane Park, is just touristy enough where they’re used to seeing non-Turks, including women travelling alone, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time parked there with a trashy romance novel, getting my tea refilled over and over. If you feel like being a bit more adventurous, take the ferry across to Kadiköy and hit up some of the cafes back in the shopping areas. Besides having some of the best food in the city, Çiya Sofrasi is an amazing place to just sit and eat and read and drink a glass of Turkish wine by yourself. People might look at you a little funny, but they won’t bug you. And ReCafe, just around the corner off Dumlupinar Sokaki, is a really lovely nargile cafe that is very used to foreigners (holla exchange students!) and is a great place to sit for ages and read your book.” —exmaam

Image via Shutterstock.


Contact the author at jessica@jezebel.com.

Flygirl is Jezebel’s travel blog dedicated to adventures big and small, tips and tricks for navigation, and exploring the world at large. Have a story or an idea? We’re always taking submissions; email us with “Flygirl” AND your topic in the subject line. No pitches in the comments, please.